This year, like the ones shown from years past, bowls painted by fifth-grade student’s of Biddeford Intermediate School art teacher Kate Gerwig, right, will be used at the sixth annual Community Soup-er in Biddeford. Lee Grant is also pictured. Courtesy photo

BIDDEFORD — What better way to wind down a Maine winter and ring in the spring than with a bevy of delectable dishes. Biddeford’s and Saco’s Restaurant Week, taking place from March 15 to March 21, begins in the winter and ends after spring has begun.

As a preamble to that event is the annual Community Soup-er to be held on Sunday, March 8 at the Pepperell Mill Campus, 40 Main St., Biddeford.

This is the sixth year for both events.

Soup will be served in beautiful bowls made by Biddeford’s fifth-graders. Tickets are $10 and entitle diners to two servings of soup, plus biscuits or bread. The family price is $25 for a family of up to four people.

The event is being put on by the downtown revitalization organization Heart of Biddeford and is sponsored by Saco & Biddeford Savings.

“We hold the Community Soup-er because Heart of Biddeford’s mission is to foster a vibrant, inclusive and sustainable community,” HOB Director Delilah Poupore said. “It’s kind of an ideal event where community members enjoy soup and break bread together, the restaurants get to introduce themselves to new people, and all of the funds raised go to Seeds of Hope. We have Biddeford Intermediate School students making ceramic bowls, University of New England students volunteering, and Thornton Academy (in Saco) students performing background music during the event. Each year, Saco & Biddeford Savings sponsors the event and their employees come and help out, and members of the boards of Saco Main Street, HOB and the Saco+Biddeford Chamber of Commerce+Industry all help out.”

The soup list includes: Biscuits & Co.: Creamy Tomato Bisque, Yeto’s: Yeto’s Superb Soup, Portland Pie Co.: Sebago Beer & Cheddar, Fernleaf Bakery & Coffee House: Lentil Carrot (Vegan), UNE Dining: TBA, Dizzy Birds: Rotisserie Chicken and Vegetable Soup, Koi: TBA, Holly C’s Kitchen: Sweet Potato Chili. (vegetarian/vegan) and Mulligan’s: Broccoli & Cheddar. More soups will be added.

In addition to soup, diners can partake of biscuits from Biscuits & Company and snowflake rolls from Reilly’s Bakery.

After minor expenses, profits from the Community Soup-er go to Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center.

To accommodate more people, there will be two seatings this year, one a 5 p.m. and another at 6 p.m.

“At 6 p.m., in the midst of the party,” according to the HOB website, “we’ll draw the Prize Packages, (which includes a) $1,500 Cash Prize for Heart of Biddeford’s annual raffle! Whether you’re at the event, just finished dining or about to dine, you can still hang out and listen to music when we do the drawing!”

To get tickets, visit https://heartofbiddeford.org/2020-community-soup-er/

The week after the Community Soup-er, Biddeford Saco Restaurant week begins; it goes from March 15 through March 21. Details are still being worked out. For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/eatbiddefordsaco/

“Heart of Biddeford partners with Saco Main Street and the Chamber to highlight the growing restaurant scene in Biddeford and Saco, which has something for everyone,” Poupore said. “We are so excited that there are chefs winning James Beard Awards and features in the New York Times and Down East magazine, and we have strong support for places that have been staples of our community for decades — or 110 years, in the case of Reilly’s Bakery! Restaurant Week is that little extra encouragement to the community to go on an adventure and explore some new places — especially at a time of year when you might tend to avoid heading outside as much.”

New this year, she said, “we are premiering “Food U,” which is a series of classes offered by a half-dozen downtown Biddeford and Saco establishments. Aside from those listed below, more classes are expected, Poupore said, and added “tickets for these will be on our website soon.”

Confirmed Food U classes are: Maine Coast Roast: Coffee roasting demonstration, 4 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20; Unwind: Cocktail Classes for the Home Host/Hostess, 2 p.m. Sunday, March 15; Lorne: Wine Class 101/How to Taste, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21; and Biscuits & Company (2-for-1 for Restaurant Week) will host a Hands-on Biscuits Making Class, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. March 21.

In the midst of restaurant week will be Local Libations night on Wednesday, March 19. Participating establishments include: Lorne Wine, Yeto’s, Elements, WonderBar, Martini’s on Main, $5 Finn’s, Cowbell Burger Bar, Round Turn Distilling, Elda and Unwind Cocktail Lounge. More participants are being added.

“Restaurant Week this year includes the traditional opportunity for diners to win $100 by filling out a short form at participating restaurants, plus — specials at many establishments,” Poupore said. To find out more about specials visit https://heartofbiddeford.org/event/biddeford-saco-restaurant-week-3/

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